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The News in Brief

Tuesday, January 14
Happy Old New Year!

January 14 is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 351 days remaining until the end of the year (352 in leap years).

In the 20th and 21st centuries the Julian calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar, thus January 14 is sometimes celebrated as New Year's Day (Old New Year) by religious groups who use the Julian calendar.

Weather in Georgia

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia reported on January 13, temperatures will decrease by 3 or 4 degrees. Heavy snow may come in Svaneti, the Adjara region and Rikoti gorge, along with strong winds in high mountainous regions and storms on the Black Sea coast. Sunny weather will resume throughout Georgia from January 15, but the temperature will remain low especially at night.

14 arrested for border violation, de-facto South Ossetia claims

More than a dozen people have been detained in de-facto South Ossetian territory for violating border rules.

From December 30 to January 10, 14 people were detained on the territory of de-facto South Ossetia for border violation. This information was released today by the State Security Committee of de-facto South Ossetia.

The committee statement said of the 14 people who were arrested, nine were citizens of de-facto South Ossetia, one was a Russian citizen and four were citizens of Georgia. The 14 people were arrested in the villages Artsevi, Ikorta, Disevi, and Kvemo Okona.

The ten citizens of de-facto South Ossetia and Russia were given a warning and a fine imposed by a court decision. Two of the four Georgians who violated the border rules, as the de-facto regime claims, were issued with a fine while the other two Georgian citizens will present their cases before the court.

Shelters for homeless to be monitored in Tbilisi

Non-hygienic conditions and a lack of essential items at Tbilisi’s homeless shelters have forced the new facilities to be monitored.

Multiple complaints to the Public Defender’s Office sparked the decision to monitor the shelters. The residents have complained about unsanitary conditions in the shelters and a lack of essential items.

Homeless shelters in Gori and Kutaisi are already being monitored by the Public Defender’s Office. These shelters opened in mid-December. The Tbilisi temporary shelters officially opened on December 12 and hosted its first guests that morning.

The night shelters, aimed at assisting the vulnerable, were arranged by the Georgian Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.

Davit Usupashvili pays official visit to Estonia

Chairperson of the parliament of Georgia started visit to Estonia. Davit Usupashvili left the country together with the delegation of the lawmakers. Within the visit, the chairperson will hold meeting with the president of Estonia, chairperson of the Estonian government, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the country. The parties will discuss the prospects of bilateral cooperation on the level of parliament, as well as the enhancement of cooperation in the spheres of politics, economics and culture. Foreign policy priorities will be in particular focus at the meetings.
(Rustavi 2)

NGO reports that Law on Surrogacy violated four times

NGO Hope for the Future has objected to the negligence of the law enforcement structures regarding four facts of illegal transportation of children born via surrogacy in Georgia. The director of the organization, Tamar Khachapuridze announced that she had provided detailed information about the transportation of four children with counterfeit documents from Georgia abroad. However, the prosecutor`s office has not responded on the crime yet. The NGO calls on the government to clarify its approach to the problem.

“We have obtained the data from the public register database on three illegally registered fathers who are foreigners and three mothers, who are Georgian nationals. For months the prosecutor`s office has failed to make definitions on the issue. It has become obvious that the prosecutor`s office is waiting for a “license from above.”

I call on the government to react to these facts immediately. They should either announce that the transportation of four new-born babies through the Georgian border with counterfeit documents is not a crime and that the government does not care about this problem, or they should charge the persons involved in the organized crime,” Khachapuridze announced.
(Rustavi 2)

PM to meet representatives of local and international media

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili will meet representatives of Georgian and international media within the framework of the Open Governance project. According to the PM’s press service, the meeting will be held on 16 January. In addition, the PM will meet regional media too in the nearest future

Patriarch Ilia II says there is a solution for economic difficulties

There are many people waiting for employment when there are numerous jobs available, the Patriarch of Georgia said during his Sunday mass. Ilia II said he wished to see the people in Georgia “think about their future.”
(Georgian News)

Hackers attacked on parliament’s official web-site

The Parliament’s official web-site has again become an object of a hacker attack. However, after intensive reconstruction, it now operates without any problems.

According to Parliament’s Information Technology Department Head Merab Gotsiridze, the site was completely damaged and the file system “annulled’’. According to him, a new file system is being created.

The Parliament’s web-site was broken by hackers on 31 December, 2013 as well.
(Georgian News)

Georgian Observatory, NASA to implement project on Sun studies

The NASA Scientific Committee and Georgian National Astrophysical Observatory of Chavchavadze State University are launching a joint project.

The First Channel of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) reported that the project entitled Varsit includes a study of solar processes and predicting the results of their interaction with the earth.

The TV channel reported that scientific research centres of 50 countries will participate in the project which will be implemented in five years.

The sun will be observed by satellites and allow scientists to make certain predictions. The project will be managed by NASA representatives.